Can You Guess Who's Who?
In this murder mystery set at a 1960s World Science Fiction Convention, real-life authors and fans behind fictional names are mixed with fictional characters. Match wits with the book's author, J. D. Crayne, and try to identify the real characters and their actual names in this unique roman à clef.
It's a holiday weekend, and the World Science Fiction Convention is ready to roll. The first speaker for the first panel steps up onto the speaker's platform—and finds a corpse under the table. Not only is it a corpse, it's the body of a writer/editor who no one liked, and he's been brained with one of science fiction's most prestigious awards—the Hugo. Enter the FBI.
The dead man had a day job as a biochemist and there seems to be a conspiracy afoot to murder American biochemists. Is there a link between Coubra's murder and those other deaths? Special Agent Noel Minden finds himself cast adrift on a sea of make-believe as he tries to make sense out of science fiction fandom. Lovely "Grub" Witchety and her grandfather, Dr. J. R. Derry (known as "Gramps"), introduce the bemused agent to amateur press publishing, monster movies, and the Mystic Water from the Well of St. Fanthony. You'll laugh out loud at the antics of this slightly cockeyed investigative trio as they cope with masquerade beauties, fan parties, filk song sessions, and those dog-eared, vintage copies of Astounding, Amazing, and Arkham House reprints in the huckster room.
The luckless convention chairman is just beginning to get over the death of Coubra, when there's a second murder. This time the victim is a man that everybody liked! Is there a connection between the two killings? The convention ends on Monday, and time is running out. Meet mutated mice, big-headed aliens, and amiable drunks in the hotel lounge. It's a hoot, it's a yell, it's a blast! It's black jelly beans and wandering bagels! It's a sci-fi con! And while you're reading, test your knowledge of sixties and seventies science fiction writers and fans against the author's. Can you guess the real-life people behind these characters who you will meet in the novel: Gary Corneille, Brad O'Neill, Marshall Barrigan, Bill and Beth Krotz, Uncle Elmer, Frank and Dinah Kinder, Wes Dalvan, The Flash, Nate Levenson, Derryk Masters, Will Studley, or Big Hearted Howard. Or try an easier test. Fit the last name to these characters and their real-life first names you will encounter in the story: Drew, Owen, Kathy, Sylvia, Ted, Jayne.